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Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Kansai / Who & What

Volunteers being sought for Osaka robot games International Robot Games Festival Kansai 2001, a 10-day event from July 20 to 29 at Osaka International Conference Hall in Osaka's Kita Ward, is seeking volunteers.

Staffers are needed to assist the robot games, guide visitors, deal with the press, interpret for foreign visitors and provide other support services. English, Chinese and Korean speakers are especially needed.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old at the time of the event, be able to attend training sessions on July 8 and 19 and participate in more than five days of the event.

Those who wish to apply must send a reply-paid postcard with their name, gender, age, address, phone number and profession or school name to the executive committee of RoboFesta Kansai 2001, Jimu-kyoku at Atlantis 21, fourth floor, 1-1-2, Ote-dori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, 540-0021. The deadline is Friday.

Call the organizer at (06) 6966-6501 or fax (06) 6966-6503.

Japan-Turkish Society holding fabric display The Japan-Turkish Society will hold a display and sale of Turkish kilim textiles from Friday to Sunday at its facility in Kyoto's Nakagyo Ward.

Kilim is a type of flat-woven wool created by nomadic Turkish women. The colors and patterns of the textiles vary from region to region, with the product typically made into carpets, rugs, bags and other daily items.

About 500 of these items will be displayed, including fabrics over 100 years old and those actually used by Turkish nomads. Items for sale start at several thousand yen.

Admission is free, and Turkish drinks will be served to all visitors. The venue will be open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. except for Sunday, when it closes at 5 p.m.

The venue is a three-minute walk from Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Line or Shijo Station on the Karasuma subway line.

For more information, call the organizer at (075) 255-7530.

Silk scouring on agenda for next Kyoto seminar The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office is hosting its monthly English-speaking seminar on Japanese culture from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 22 at the foundation's base in Kyoto's Nakagyo Ward.

This month's guest speaker is Toshihiko Takada, an exponent of the Kyoto style of "kyo-neri" (silk scouring). Raw silk is very stiff and difficult to dye because the fibers are coated with a gluey substance called sericin. Consequently, this chemical must be removed before making glossed silk, which is flexible, lustrous and dyes beautifully.

Scouring was traditionally achieved by beating the silk on a fulling block. Even today, when chemicals are used in the scouring process, scouring artists play a key role in creating a superior silk product.

The seminar will be conducted in Japanese, with English interpretations.

No admission or reservation is required. Call the organizer at (075) 211-1312 or fax (075) 255-1273.

Nunobiki Herb Park to host lavender festival Nunobiki Herb Park, which grows 150 kinds of herbs on a mountain slope in Kobe's Chuo Ward, is holding a lavender festival through July 8.

The festival will feature displays of lavenders in bloom, flower gathering, herbal tea, cooking, crafts and other events.

To get to the park, take the Kobe Yume Fusen ropeway from Kitano 1-chome Station to Nunobiki Herb-en Station.

Admission is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students. The park will be closed June 25.

For more information, call the park at (078) 271-1131 or fax (078) 271-1133 or visit its Web site at www.kobe-park.or.jp/herb.htm

Foreign residents asked to write on Japan culture Kyoto International Cultural Association is holding an essay contest about Japanese culture, exclusively for foreign residents.

The essay's theme is "Japanese culture seen from your point of view." Its length in Japanese must be between 8,000 and 12,000 characters, or between 3,000 and 5,000 words in English.

Four finalists will make an oral presentation in October in Kyoto.

The author of the best essay will be awarded 100,000 yen, while the three runners-up will each receive 50,000 yen.

Those wishing to enter must ask for an application form and details by sending a postcard to the organizer at Room 116, Kyodai Kaikan, 15-9, Yoshida Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 606-8305. The application deadline is Aug. 31.

For more information, call KICA at (075) 751-8958, fax (075) 751-9006 or e-mail: kicainc@mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp

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